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Tale of two sidewalks

Safety issues persist along busy Highway 63 route

March 22, 2013
By John Speer - Editor , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

A recent call from a citizen to extend the sidewalk serving the area near South Tama High School may have again renewed the effort to provide a safe route for pedestrians in this area.

Tama Mayor Dan Zimmerman reported to city council members Monday night it could cost anywhere from $4,000 to $20,000 to complete the Tama portion along the west side along U.S. 63 to the Toledo city limits. The total costs is determined by the amount of work city crews perform in the project he said.

Zimmerman proposed at the Feb. 18 city council meeting extending the present sidewalk from the point where it turns toward the south entrance to the South Tama High School building. He said it would run to the city limits which is in the east parking area of the sports complex.

Article Photos

The present sidewalk in Toledo ends about one block short of the city limits and is on the east side of the four-lane highway.
News-Herald photos/John Speer

Council member Robert Tyynismaa said it needs to be determined if the traffic control light at the U.S. 30 Expressway ramps at Summit Street in Toledo can be used or modified for pedestrians to cross the highway.

But the discussion quickly reached the same hurdle as before: the existing sidewalk serving the City of Toledo to near the Tama city limits is on the east (opposite) side of the highway.

However, even with that, council members said Toledo would be faced with building sidewalk along the west side of U.S. 63 from that point south to the city limits.

Article Map

A Wellness Coalition assessed the "walkability" of the route in May, 2012, and then called for resurrection of a 2009 study.

A Safe Routes to School federal grant totaling $50,000 was spent on engineering then and an estimated $2.1 million in improvements were called for.

That figure seemed to dampen further consideration.

Last year, the coalition made up of members from Tama County Health and Home Services and the Healthy Lifestyles initiative parred that amount down and called for applying for a federal grant totaling $250,000.

No word on that proposal was available at News-Herald deadline.

In other business Monday the council:

approved advertising for one part-time summer help position, mowing bids for the Tama-Toledo Family Aquatic Center, general mowing and for cleaning and upkeep of downtown planters.

approved hiring Mark Bear as a paid reserve police officer. He had served on the Meskwaki Nation Tribal Police Force for nearly four years.

approved attendance of City Clerk Judy Welch and Assistant Clerk Nancy Carlson at the Iowa Municipal Finance Officers meeting in Des moines for two days in April.

approved renewal of the Las dos Fuentes liquor sales license renewal for the location at 131 W. 3rd St.

 
 

 

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